6-year deadline to file whistleblower suit

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that a whistleblower who reports alleged violations of the law has a full six years to file a lawsuit. The more common two-year limitation does not apply.

New EEOC guidance would redefine retaliation


The EEOC has issued a proposed revision to its guidance on workplace retaliation—the first since 1998—that could radically change how enforcement authorities and courts define retaliation and its causes.

Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act requires verdict from judge, not jury


Here’s a bit of good news that may prevent a big jury verdict: An employment-related whistleblower claim must be heard and decided by a judge, not a jury.

Don't punish employee for deposition testimony

If you decide to punish an employee for testifying against you in a legal deposition, be prepared for even more litigation.

Speaking out in course of government job isn't protected

Government employees have limited First Amendment rights when speaking out. But the right doesn’t apply if the public employee is merely doing his or her job.

Do the right thing, still get sued

Here’s a reminder that even doing the right thing can mean a lawsuit.

Resignation announced, then a change of heart: Can refusing to allow return be retaliation?

Here’s a rather novel question being answered for the first time in the 5th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Texas employers. Can the refusal to accept a request to rescind a resignation ever be an adverse em­­ployment action and retaliation for engaging in protected activity?

Internal complaint not enough: Whistle-blowers must file report with police

Texas government employees who blow the whistle on their employers are protected from retaliation. But it takes more than just voicing an internal complaint or even cooperating in an audit to make a claim of whistle-blower retaliation stick.

How to change your work rules without courting a lawsuit


It’s management’s prerogative to change workplace policies and rules. Courts don’t like to second-guess employers for managing their businesses as best they see fit. But how (and how consistently) you change those rules can make a big difference in your exposure to legal liability.

When can an employee's transfer be considered illegal retaliation?


To bring a case of retaliation for complaining about discrimination or harassment, employees must show that they suffered some sort of “adverse employment action” in response to their complaint. That’s easy if the employee is demoted, fired or transferred to a less desirable position. But what if the worker experiences more subtle retaliation, like having to do more work or being transferred to a potentially better position that doesn’t pan out?

Employee sends spouse to voice harassment complaint: Is that 'protected' activity?


Employees who complain to HR or management about alleged discrimination or harassment are engaging in protected activity and can’t be punished for complaining. But what if the employee can’t summon the courage to complain and, instead, sends someone else? Is sending a spokesperson to complain also protected activity? A federal court says “yes,” at least when it’s the employee’s spouse who takes action.

Court: Reporting personal theft is 'protected activity'

A new California appellate court ruling shows that employees who are terminated for reporting the alleged theft of personal property at work have a right to sue for wrongful termination as a whistle-blower. The report merely has to involve criminal activity. It doesn’t have to be work related or concern a matter of public interest.

LGBT leader resigns, cites retaliation in firings

The University of Minnesota at Duluth is still reeling from discrimination charges after it failed to renew hockey coach Shannon Miller’s contract. Miller and three of her coaches, all of whom are openly gay, were terminated.

Internal complaint doesn't equal whistle-blowing


The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that simply complaining to one’s boss  about allegedly illegal activity is not whistle-blowing protected by the Texas Whistleblower Act. Employees must inform law enforcement.

Alerting boss of job-bias rules is not 'protected activity'

The role of an HR professional includes educating management on anti-discrimination laws. Doing so is generally considered doing one’s job and isn’t protected activity.
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